Starting with excellent Cocktails at Kato.
Bee’s Knees - Milk Washed Ford’s Gin Shaken, Orange Blossom Honey, Sansho Pepper, Lemon & Bancha / Old-fashioned - Kavalan Distillery Select Whisky, Hoshigaki & Angostura Bitters
Followed by an excellent dinner at Pizzeria Bianco
Sky Vineyards, Zinfandel 2014, Napa Valley / Idewild, Cortese 2018, Mendocino
The server, Andrea, and I were trying to come up with a full-bodied wine that could possibly make my husband forget it’s not an old-fashioned. The Sky Zin did a pretty good job - big, jammy, dark fruits, licorice, peppery and earthy too - I got wet bamboo on the nose and palate which is probably what one taster’s note called forest floor. My golden hued Cortese was quite nice. No discernible aroma but the texture is thick and the flavors are of lemon, tropical fruits, honey. It went well with the Rosa Pizza, the antipasto’s olive oil slicked trumpet shrooms & delicata squash. I must’ve had a good time… I’m describing wine.
Antipasto - Croccolo Cheese, Salami, Stuffed Delicata Squash, Trumpet Mushrooms, Peppers, Spicy Pickled Things
It’s as tasty as it is colorful. The fantastic, long-aged Croccolo has most likely spoiled me for other pecorinos. It was the counterpoint and compliment to everything on the antipasto plate and at this point I’m starting to get an inkling of Chris Bianco’s famously ingredient driven menus.
Farinata w/Black Olives, Onion & Rosemary
I love chickpeas (it’s made with chickpea flour), love pancakes & crepes and it’s a firmer textured combination of both. We topped it with some of the antipasto and ate it with a fork.
Another delicious topper. Crispy porky deliciousness w/a sprinkling of fennel seeds and a pepper kick. Not typically an Italian sausage lover but these are sliced thin and crispy like sausage bacon. I couldn’t stop popping them in my mouth. Hubs topped a few on his Sonny Boy Pizza for a meat lover’s pizza sitch.
Half Rosa & Sonny Boy… you can do halfsies!
Yep, my husband thinks Chris Bianco is definitely the Pope of Pizza. He LOVES this pizza. He had his eyes closed and was slowly shaking his head as he ate the Sonny Boy. The cornicione is light, puffy, chewy, right amount of char with a thin center that’s saucy & olive oily but not soupy making it a perfectly foldable slice. And that wonderful, soft, oh so stretchy Mozzarella is another spoiler. Ingredients! Can’t forget the salty, porky, kicky goodness of the Soppressata and the mildly briny Black Olives. Staff is very accommodating. I mentioned that I really wanted to the try the Rosa w/Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Onions, Rosemary and Santa Barbara Pistachios, but I don’t like a lot of rosemary. Done! Not a lot of rosemary. So good! I can understand why it’s been hard to pinpoint what style Bianco’s pizza is and I’m definitely not an expert, so I’ll just say that like Nancy Silverton’s signature pizza crust this is Chris Bianco style. Thanks Chef!
Strawberry Sorbetto w/Whipped Cream & Lemon Zest and Lemon Cookies
Another dish that is one thing but like another thing although idk exactly what the other thing is. It’s sorbet with concentrated strawberry flavor but w/a denser almost cakey quality. Cakey? That can’t be right. And that foamy whipped cream! It’s like eating a parfait. Oh and I love lemon cookies.
Atmosphere and service was warm and inviting. Sergio was in da’ house greeting everyone like an old friend and some seemed to be. There was also another illustrious Sergio in da’ house… David Chang & friends were posted-up on the patio all night.
Best evening we’ve had in a while. Thanks @PorkyBelly for the now nearly impossible to get resy!
Happy Bianco is in LA!